About the fishing grounds
When targeting striped bass we generally fish the area from Cape Small at the eastern edge of Casco Bay to the Damariscotta River. Within this stretch of coastline there are miles and miles of protected waters within the Kennebec and Sheepscot river systems, and this is where we find much of our striper action. This is very pretty country dotted with numerous islands, where the forest extends right down to the shorelines, and we routinely see ospreys, bald eagles, and seals. Very often we find our best fishing just yards from the shoreline, where you can smell the spruce and hear the squirrels chatter.
On calm days we often make the 30-minute ocean run over to the white-sand beaches near Fort Popham at the mouth of the Kennebec River, and cast baits and lures right into the rolling surf. This is an exciting style of fishing, as the bass make sizzling runs in the shallow water, and it’s actually where we often find our larger fish. We also troll or cast topwater plugs for bluefish in this area when we encounter schools cruising on top, normally in late July and August. We also fish the sheltered local bays - Boothbay and Linekin Bay - for stripers and mackerel, both of which are just a few minutes’ run from the dock.
A typical day of live-baiting for stripers begins with a 10-minute run out to one of the bays to catch a few dozen tinker mackerel, which we place in our above-deck live well. Then we’ll run up the river system in flat, sheltered waters or across the mouth of the Sheepscot and over to the Kennebec area beaches. Live mackerel are either free-lined or fished under floats for the stripers, and we’ll often throw out chunks and fillets as well. There’s also the opportunity to work flies and artificials in virtually every spot we fish.
For school bluefin tuna we work the ocean from just a mile or two offshore to 15 miles or so. Depending on conditions we troll artificial lures, slow-troll or still-fish live baits, or work jigs.